Texas A&M University Interim President Mark A. Welsh III outlined priorities for the future of the university during a State of the University address on Wednesday in Rudder Theatre.
Welsh, who was named the sole finalist for the position of president earlier this month, told the crowd of nearly 750 faculty, staff, students and community members that his plan was merely the start of the conversation, “because we have to decide whether that’s the right place to go and we’ve got to decide what’s the best way to get there.”
The former Bush School dean and retired four-star Air Force general thanked the campus community for moving the university forward.
“Thanks for really embracing that desire to get back on track and thanks for being part of the solution,” he said near the beginning of the one-hour address.
Welsh, who called the opportunity to represent the university an “unbelievable privilege,” outlined eight priorities for the university:
Fix the foundation: “Right-size” faculty and staff to keep up with the university’s growth; do a market analysis on salaries across the campus; prioritize infrastructure investments; have a realistic, executable capital project plan; and optimize plans for a target student number.
Define our research identity: What areas of research are we known for and can we bundle it for marketing optimization.
Build our academic roadmap: How are we adjusting to changes in education?
Make Texas A&M a constant in the national conversation: Elevate our reputation by playing to our strengths so that A&M is always being discussed in some way.
Create the nation’s number one student experience: Listen to students, benchmark peers, invest in a structured way over time and partner with the Student Government Association.
Graduate great citizens — not just great Aggies: Emphasize rights and responsibilities of citizenship along with the value of public service.
Become the nation’s number one veteran-serving university: Tailor certificate and degree programs to veterans with flexible content delivery, job placement and scholarship support.